Spaceships are elemental in science fiction. Think USS Enterprise, USS Voyager, Destiny, Serenity, the Millennium Falcon. And I love this about science fiction.
This is why…
I have a thang for cars. A huge whopping serious crush thang on cars. Not lame cars of course, but hot cars (or trucks): muscle cars, outrageously expensive sports cars that I could never afford with horsepower above 1300 bhp, cute old trucks, my Black Widow Avengers Age of Ultron Hot Wheels car, my Uhura mobile…
My two vintage cars…
My love for cars began as a small kiddo. Here’s the story of me: in my childhood home, there were no books. Except for two: the Holy Bible and Chilton’s Auto Repair catalog. No, I’m not even exaggerating. And I’m not looking for pity, because at the time, I didn’t know I was missing out on anything. I didn’t know other homes had books, or that parents read to their kids, or that they read books in general. In my childhood world, when I wasn’t outside riding my bike, throwing a ball with other kids, building forts, or pretending to be female Tarzan, I would need stuff to do inside. My choices were limited. I could draw (yay!), or watch TV, or read one of the two books available. And as exciting as the Holy Bible was (Revelations legit scared the ever lovin’ crud out of me for real), with its ships full of animals, Whore of Babylon Mother of Harlots, and chapters of “this person begat that person who begat that person”, I preferred reading that Chilton’s Auto Repair catalogue. In fact I read it like a novel. Probably the best romance novel written. I fell hard for cars.
I now own two vintage cars and I adore them beyond all that is probably sane. I hand-wash and hand-wax them and lovingly take care of their interiors, tires, and trim with only the highest quality products. For relaxation, I go out to the nice, quiet garage and clean my cars’ engines, wiping down every part and checking hose connections, oil levels, air filters etc. This is nirvana to me. Watching the GOOP cleaner magically get 94% of the black gunk off my hands at the end of my car/me-down-time is a sensory high. Yes, I may be weird. That’s okay. I don’t mind. Every birthday, instead of gifts, my family gives me car stuff like touch up paint or new car carpet or badly-needed AC in Texas for my thirty-two-year-old Porsche (the Z doesn’t have heat or air). So yeah, cars – they’re my thang. I even drew one for a certain awesome kiddo I know who has caught the car-fanatic-bug. High-fives, Sam!
What does this have to do with spaceships you ask?
Spaceships and cars are samesies. They are more than a means of transportation. They are freedom and adventure and protection and, if others are in the car/spaceship with you, they are home, albeit sometimes a home that’s fraught with all manner of unpleasantries and clashing personalities and boredom and annoying music.
When it comes to the home comparison, spaceships go beyond the car analogy. They truly are a home and the crew is family. And they travel the universe. I love this: a group of individuals in a tiny vessel in a vast dark wilderness – a spectacular setting and arrangement for a plethora of incredible stories.
Now that I’m deep in the throes of space fever, I’d like to mention some aspects of three of my favorite spaceships. (I have some criticisms for them too, but I don’t Do Negative so I’ll keep those opinions to myself). In no particular order…
U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 (The Original Series)
I have a serious, intense love for the sounds of this ship. Her beeps and pings are musical and hypnotizing. Listen sometime and you’ll see. I love the aesthetics of the bridge, the balance of curved and straight lines, and the predominance of red as an accent color. The bridge flows. It’s artistic and beautiful.
U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
I love that this is a smaller ship. An Intrepid-class ship. Her look is sleek and aerodynamic, which I know aerodynamics do not matter in space, but still. The look is smexy. I love that her nacelles rotate upward when jumping to warp; it looks cool, even if the necessity for it is vague. I like the concept of her computer system being enhanced with bio-neural gel packs, a fascinating mix of engineering and biology. The warp core in Engineering is bad-ass-looking. And I’m just gonna say this: as someone who *may* have a huge crush on Seven of Nine, Cargo Bay 10 is my favorite part of the ship. How cool is it that there are Borg regeneration chambers in there? How cool is it that the cargo bay is her quarters? Okay, yes, once again. I’m weird. And I’m okay with that.
I adore that this ship is always in a state of disrepair. It’s endearing. I love that the crew has to climb down a ladder to get to their dorm. The kid in me is giddy at the prospect of a subfloor living space. The overall interior of Serenity is rugged and battered and I like that. It feels like a hero that’s seen and experienced a lot, and is beaten up pretty good, but still keeps fighting. Of all the spaceships I’ve watched on the screen, this one also feels the homiest to me.
In my science fiction series, I have spaceships of course. I have good guy ships and bad guy ships and everything-in-between ships. Some are sleek and sexy, some are huge and intimidating, some are decrepit clunkers. I strive to give each ship its own “feel”, its own personality.
Here’s some secret, inside information so keep it to yourself:
The protagonist’s ship in my series is named Seghexxka. It’s an alien term which means “When I broke out of my nice, warm shell, I found rain outside. I thought about going back in, but instead I learned to fly and that was great.” (This particular alien language has words with long-ish meanings)
Sooooo, now you know a little bit about my obsession with cars and spaceships and you have a tiny teaser for my series. No, I do not have a drawing for my ship yet because I am lousy at technical illustration. I can see her in my head though, from her forward turrets to her aft engine array, from her slow-ass elevator to her poorly-ventilated ready room, from her superior laser cannons to her landing struts.
So until next time – Seghexxka! (The word is also used as an expression to mean “We got this!”).
Bt the way, I did read books as a kiddo. Books about dinosaurs were my favorite. Thank you for school libraries!
Live weird and prosper, my friends